I can’t tell you how excited I am about the coming collection EVER MY LOVE. Six best-selling authors with all new material – what’s not to love?? My segment is set in Medieval England (I know, what a surprise!!) and it involves a highway robber known as the Greenhead Ghost. There are some serious twists in this story, folks, something you will NOT want to miss. In fact, I might throw in some bonus chapters and make this a full-blown novel once the collection has had its run and release my segment as a stand-alone. As I was writing it, I couldn’t help but think it would make an AWESOME big novel.
So, to entice you into reserving a pre order copy of the collection, please enjoy an excerpt from OF LOVE AND LEGEND – my segment from the EVER MY LOVE collection!
Get it here for ONLY 99 cents!:
England, 1276 A.D.
(this excerpt is from a robbery in the open chapter)
The Greenhead Ghost wrestled with the woman for a few moments, trying to pull her up to him, but he was having a difficult time lifting her. He didn’t want to go down into the cab and possibly find himself trapped, so he was trying to lift her to him. But that wasn’t working and he couldn’t figure out why. Frustrated, he pulled forth is razor-sharp dirk, let go of the woman, and dropped down into the cab.
The cab was being buffeted back and forth from the fighting going on around it as he struggled to gain his bearing in the dark and confined space. There were sconces on the interior of the cab, very unusual, and there were two lit tapers, enclosed in an iron frame so they would not become dislodged. They gave off minimal light and the Greenhead Ghost found himself looking at a woman, collapsed on one of the benches and fanning herself furiously.
The woman was elderly, extremely well dressed, and quite overweight. That explained why he hadn’t been able to lift her to him. He had the dirk in his hand but did not lift it.
“Madam,” he said politely. “I have come for your valuables. You will kindly comply.”
The woman continued to fan herself. “Thieving wretch,” she said, breathless. “It is a goodly lesson to you that all of my valuables were sent on ahead with my servants. I do not carry them with me. Your ambush is for naught.”
He looked at her, cocking his head. His gaze, although she could not see it, roamed her head and round body. “I beg to differ,” he said. “You have bejeweled clips. I shall take them.”
She stiffened and stopped fanning herself. “You will not!”
He didn’t argue with her. He simply reached out and ripped them from where they fastened to her high neckline. She gasped in outrage, slapping at him as he ripped off the ruby clips. As she slapped at him, he caught sight of a ring on her hand, very large, and he grabbed her fingers to take a look at it. She tried to yank her hand back but he held it fast as he inspected the stone the size of a sparrow’s egg.
“What is this?” he asked. “It looks very old.”
She was trying to kick at him now, trying to push him away. “Let me go!”
He ignored her, now trying to pull the ring from her fat finger. It wouldn’t budge. “You can either give me this ring or I can cut your finger off,” he said. “It makes no difference to me but it will make a good deal of difference to you.”
The woman stopped kicking at him and scowled. “You vile creature,” she hissed. “I cannot imagine your mother is too proud of you for the profession you have chosen.”
He cocked an eyebrow beneath his mask. “My mother likes to eat,” he said. “Therefore, she has no say in my profession if she wants to continue eating. Are you going to give me this ring or must I cut your finger off?”
The woman was torn between defiance and fear. “You do not want this ring.”
“Aye, I do.”
“But it is cursed.”
He snorted. “I applaud you for using a new tactic against me,” he said, “but it will not work. I do not believe in curses. Give me the ring.”
He was yanking on it again, causing her pain, and she tried to pull her hand back. “It is a genuine curse, I assure you,” she said, grunting in pain. “And it is not for a man to have.”
He stopped pulling and flashed his dirk. “I will not tell you again to remove it,” he said, flashing the blade in her line of sight. “Remove it now or I cut it off.”
The old woman could see that he was serious. Feeling sick to her stomach, she did the only thing she could do. She nodded her head, briefly, and he let her hand go. Her fat fingers were swollen as she tried to work the ring off.
“At least listen to me before you take it,” she said. “You may not want it when I am finished.”
“I am waiting.”
He was impatient. She didn’t blame him. In fact, she wasn’t entirely reluctant to give him the ring because what she had said was the truth – the ring really was cursed. It had been cursed for generations of her family, the maternal line, and every eldest daughter in every generation had to assume the ring and the same curse. Sometimes families only had boys and then the mother who had the ring, who had intended it for her daughter, had been forced to pass it down to a niece or cousin, but the family tradition remained the same. And so did the curse.
Now, she was facing the prospect of handing the ring to a robber. She had the chance to rid the family of the ring and the curse, forever. In fact, she had been heading to Newcastle to deliver the ring to her grandniece, to burden the poor girl with such a ring now that she had come of age, but the highway robber was now giving her a chance to rid her family of the burden. To forever rid the family of the ancient curse.
Nay, she wasn’t reluctant to give him the ring at all.
“Very well,” she said, tugging it as it slipped along her finger. “You may have it. But you must understand the curse that goes along with it. This ring has been in my family for two thousand years. It is very old, as you have noticed, and it is not particularly valuable. The gold is very old and the stone, I was once told, is a carnelian that came from the gods of old. It was a ring that belonged to Aphrodite herself.”